The life-saving heroics of a trio of Sheffield golfers will be featured in the next episode of Helicopter ER- the reality TV series featuring the work of Yorkshire Air Ambulance.
John Anderson, 65, had just started a round with three others at Hillsborough Golf Club when he collapsed on the first fairway after suffering a massive heart attack.
The father-of-two stopped breathing for nearly 10 minutes but survived because of the quick-thinking actions of his fellow golfers. Kevin Gross started immediate CPR while Rob Biggins ran back to the clubhouse to get more help.
First aid-trained Club steward Carl Pagden and another golfer Matt Shaw raced to the fairway and joined Kevin in giving CPR until paramedics arrived with a defibrillator and manage to restart John’s heart before the air ambulance arrived.
Retired farrier Johns said: “It was my first time at the club and I remember Rob saying the first hole was on a bit of a hill but after that, it wasn’t too bad. I took my first shot and the next thing I remember is waking up in hospital.”
“But I’ve been told I was dead for over nine minutes. Without Kevin, Matt and Carl I would not be here – they literally saved my life and I can’t thank them enough for what they did that day.”
Less than one in ten people survive cardiac arrests that happen outside hospital, and for every minute that a person in cardiac arrest doesn’t receive CPR and defibrillation, their chance of survival drops by up to 10% – so acting in an emergency is crucial.
Yorkshire Air Ambulance aircrew medic Dr. Brian White who attended John said: “It is the early starting of CPR that is the most important thing, and that started as soon as John collapsed – that’s the bit that saved his life.”
The dramatic incident happened in May last year. Grandfather of four John, from Hillsborough, was stabilised at the scene and airlifted to Northern General Hospital where he had emergency surgery to fit a mini-defibrillator and pacemaker.
His grateful son Callum started a GoFundMe campaign with has raised enough money to buy a defibrillator for Hillsborough Golf Club, who have since installed a second machine on the course. A donation has also been made to Yorkshire Air Ambulance, which needs £19,000 every day to keep its two helicopters flying.
John added: “When I was in hospital, the footballer Christian Eriksen suffered his heart attack on the pitch during the European Championships and I thought how terrifying it must have been for everyone around me. Thankfully, he survived as well because he received immediate CPR.”
“I am just so grateful that I got that second chance. Every day I wake up is a bonus.”
John’s story features in Tuesday’s episode of Helicopter ER, the award-winning Discovery programme which follows the life-saving work of Yorkshire Air Ambulance.
Episode 9, which airs on Really, also features a woman who had to learn to walk again after suffering multiple injuries in a car crash, a farmer who was crushed by one of her cows, and a pensioner who drove into a house after an automatic gearbox mix-up.
Serving a population of approximately five million people across the whole of Yorkshire, the Charity operates two air ambulance helicopters from airbases at The Nostell Priory near Wakefield and RAF Topcliffe near Thirsk, plus two Rapid Response Vehicles (RRVs).
The rapid response air emergency service relies on public donations and fundraising to continue saving lives.